Terms of Reference – Administrative Assistant Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Helpline

1.0 Background

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is expanding its Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline to meet the growing demands for mental health services in Jamaica. 

Monthly, a combined total of 500 mental health crisis calls are processed by mental health teams islandwide. Cases that can be managed via telephone are dealt with promptly but those requiring face to face interventions are usually processed within 24 hours or later depending on the case and the available resources. In most instances calls are received at the level of the hospital and referred to the relevant mental health officer. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of mental health calls received at public hospitals.

To this end the Ministry has launched its 24 hour toll free Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline which will reposition the sector to better meet the demands for mental health support services. The Helpline, is expected to provide Jamaicans with a dedicated facility for mental health support and a comprehensive suite of counselling and referral services in one location. While the Helpline facility is currently structured to receive calls only, other means of contacting the Helpline counselling team will be introduced overtime.


2.0 Objectives

The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide a 24-hour Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline service for persons with mental illness and their families.

The Administrative Assistant is therefore expected to:

  1. Provide administrative support for the efficient operations of a 24-hour Helpline service
  2. Establish a database for recording mental health cases/calls.
  3. Manage Helpline communication/promotion activities


3.0 Scope of Work

  1. Manage efficiently all calls to the Helpline to ensure timely responses and transfer to available Counselling Psychologist.
  2. Organize meeting and training logistics, as required.
  3. Type, collate and dispatch reports and other documents
  4. Record and type Minutes of meetings
  5. Maintain an appropriate filing system for the storage and easy retrieval of records.
  6. Liaise with the relevant Helpline and MOHW official to ensure timely renewal/payment of telephone service.
  7. Maintain an updated list of referral departments/organization and contact information for professionals in the community mental health network.
  8. Manage and update duty roster for public mental health teams island wide
  9. Manage a schedule of meetings/events of interest to Helpline team
  10. Monitor attendance register to ensure it is updated at all times
  11. Manage and update Helpline Counsellors’ rosters
  12. Facilitate referrals and first responder activities in a timely manner, and in support of the Counselling Psychologists.  
  13. Establish and manage database for recording mental health cases/calls.
  14. Work closely with MOHW Public Relations & Communication Unit to ensure timely communication support for Helpline services.
  15. Assist in performing other tasks as requested.


4.0 Methodology

Under the general directive of the Supervisor/Manager, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline, the Administrator is expected to execute his/her duties with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality.


5.0 Deliverables

No. Description
Work plan
A database for recording call/case information
Monthly reports detailing activities, payments processed, staff attendance and other relevant administrative updates.


6.0 Special Conditions

  • The duties of the position require that a high level of confidentiality be maintained.
  • This is a full-time position with fixed office hours.


7.0 Duration of Consultancy

The duration of this contract is two (2) years.


8.0 Qualification & Experience

  • Diploma in Administrative Management or related discipline from an accredited University.
  • At least three (3) years administrative experience
  • Training in Customer Service would be an asset
  • Computer literate
  • Ability to interpret and speak fluent English and the Jamaican dialect.


9.0 Reporting Relationship

The Administrative Assistant will report directly to the Supervisor/Manager, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline.


10.0 Remuneration

Remuneration will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications